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Ritual Exchange and the Fourth Obligation (2010)

DOCUMENT Chris Morehart. Noah Butler.

Employing Mauss’s notion of the fourth obligation, giving to the gods, this article develops a formulation of ritual exchange to examine the interactive nature of ritual practice. As a modality of interaction, ritual exchange is contingent upon enduring normative beliefs, such as perceived obligations to spiritual entities, and the social positions of ritual practitioners. Consequently, ritual exchange evinces not only the material and immaterial nature of sacred beliefs but also the...

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America